Health Leads envisions a healthcare system that addresses all patients’ basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care.

We connect patients to the basic resources they need to be healthy.  Over the past three years, Health Leads has served over 23,000 patients like the Jackson Family.

“The few hours of effort that it took to make such a significant difference in my patient’s life was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.” – Amy Wharton, Johns Hopkins University


Health Leads Co-Founder and CEO Rebecca D. Onie asks, “If we know what we need to do to have a healthcare system, rather than a sickcare system – why don’t we do it?”


    We began our work connecting families to the basic resource they need to be healthy in the Mid-Atlantic area in Washington D.C. in 2001.  In 2006, we expanded to Baltimore, and now operate in several hospitals and clinics in the city.

    Part of the Clinic Team

    Health Leads Washington, DC opened at the Children’s National Medical Center in 2001.  We also work with patients in the hospital’s satellite clinics via the electronic medical records.  Five years later, we expanded our reach in the Mid-Atlantic area when then Baltimore Health Commissioner and current Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, initiated our first partnership with the Johns Hopkins Health System and Johns Hopkins University.  Today, Health Leads operates in several clinics in the Baltimore area.

    As part of the clinic team, our Desks are integral to care delivery in the clinics where we work.  Doctors, nurses, and social workers refer patients to Health Leads to address the basic resource needs that impact patients’ health.  Many providers make referrals to Health Leads directly via the electronic medical record, allowing for seamless integration with care provided by the clinic team and Health Leads Advocates.

    Part of the Community

    Health Leads Mid-Atlantic recruits and trains college students from The George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, and The University of Maryland, College Park.  Students volunteer their time as Health Leads Advocates, working side by side with patients to connect them with community resources such as local food pantries and utilities assistance programs.  They work with a variety of unique patient populations in Baltimore and Washington D.C. including new mothers and Spanish-speaking families.

    Our Model

    Health Leads transforms the way health systems deliver care by enabling providers to “prescribe” basic resources like food and heat just as they do medication.  Patients can take these prescriptions to Health Leads in the clinic where we’ll work with them to connect to community resources and public benefits using a sophisticated, custom-built client and resource database.

    Read About Our Model >